June 24, 2016

Time is starting to become this weird mystery to me. I only really know what time or day it is because of the meetings that string the hours together, but aside from that it’s all been a blur as of late.

A few weeks ago, I went to the launch of the Road to Financial Wellness tour in New York City sponsored by Centsai. It was great to be back in my favorite city — the site where I accumulated the majority of my student loan debt.


My colleague Tonya Rapley and Jason Vitug, founder of the Road to Financial Wellness


The event was a success, but the trip was also exhausting. Fun, but so tiring. Just days before my trip I signed a lease on a new apartment, which meant as soon as I got back from my trip my life consisted of unpacking, cleaning, and getting settled.

Road to Financial Wellness NYC

We’re mostly there and it feels so good to finally have a space of our own. I am finally feeling like we live here again and aren’t on some weird vacation.

While I’m so happy to have our own place again, this move hasn’t been cheap. Now we’re paying full-on rent (and not discounted parental rent) and getting renter’s insurance, internet, desks, etc. It’s amazing how many little things you need just to get started in a new place.

Financially it hurts, but I know I’ll just be bleeding money for a month or two and things will level out.

But then again maybe I’m being too optimistic. I’m now going to Chicago for the Road to Financial Wellness pit stop (I love my job — if you’re in the area sign-up!) in July, going to Portland for a wedding in August and will be headed to FinCon in September. Luckily, FinCon is in my home state but I know it will come with some expenses.


I’m trying not to panic about all the expenses, but also trying to be mindful of them and lower them where I can. In addition, I’m working a ton, which I hope will lead to a good income in the coming months.

Going Forward

I’m happy to report that after my post about the dangers of all-or-nothing debt repayment, I actually saved enough for taxes for June. It felt like a big victory, given the previous months. I’m still slowly building my emergency fund and adding money to my investment account, but the savings goals are not happening as quickly as I’d like.

Being on the go so much isn’t a very good recipe for saving money. I’m happy with my experiences though and know that things will normalize soon.

Trying to remember what I had to do when I was getting out of debt — think of the big picture. Things can feel like they’re moving incredibly slow and like it will never get better. But small, consistent actions can lead to big changes. I’m also beginning to think and grow rich, something that I’ve recently adopted from my friend Shannon. Sometimes shifting your mindset can really help.

So I’m hoping that even though things aren’t perfect, that I’m still bettering my life financially every day.

How are things going for you?


Melanie is a freelance writer currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about education, financial literacy, and empowering people to take control of their finances. She writes about breaking up with debt, freelancing, and side hustle adventures at DearDebt.com.

Currently she puts more than 50% of her income towards debt, while living a frugal, fun life. In addition to her love of personal finance, art and music, she is also a karaoke master. Follow the adventure @DearDebtBlog.

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21 responses to “Life, Work, Etc.”

  1. Great to see you while you were in NY, Melanie! We’ve been busy too. June turned into a very busy month with end of year school events, personal appointments, work, etc. Sounds like you have had a bit of the same with the move and traveling for work. When I’m crazy busy I think about all the things I’m involved in and whether I should cut back on them, or are they things that are moving me forward/ positive things. If the answer is yes than they are worth the craziness for the short-term. Good luck!
    Brian @ Debt Discipline recently posted…Interview Series: Investment ZenMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      So great to see you! Yeah, I think all of this craziness is worth it, it’s just tough to manage deadlines, self-care. Trying to find that balance, but enjoying all of it for now!

  2. Happy to hear you’re settling in, Melanie!
    Latoya @ Life and a Budget recently posted…How to Earn Passive Income on EtsyMy Profile

  3. So great to hear that you saved the money to take care of the taxes for June! Sounds like things are pretty crazy for you – moving always seriously disrupts life and finances, but things tend to settle down after a couple of months.
    Amanda @ centsiblyrich recently posted…Weekend Money Tip: Save more money with DigitMy Profile

  4. Sounds like you’ve been crazy busy! Better than sitting around doing nothing though, I suppose. 🙂

    I’ve been setting aside 30% of everything I make for taxes as well. My accountant said that I shouldn’t owe anything at the end of the year based on how I’m taxed at my day job, but that depends on a lot of if’s in other areas. I’m still saving though, just in case – I can’t afford a huge tax bill at the end of the year! And if I don’t have to pay it, well then I’ve got a pile of $ to throw at my savings goals, or debt!
    Lindsay @ The Notorious D.E.B.T. recently posted…How Freezer Cooking Has Saved Me A Ton Of Time And MoneyMy Profile

  5. Good to see an updated! And really happy you found a place! Hope to see you soon!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…June GloomMy Profile

  6. Sounds like a fun but exhausting summer! That’s great you have your tax savings in place and a new place rented, even if that means an expensive month. It’s nice to feel like you’re getting settled.

  7. I visited LA last year and loved it. Glad to see you are able to settle in a bit. 🙂

    Life and business have been busy for us. June was particularly expensive with car-related expenses, but July should be back to normal.

  8. I kept seeing all the pics from the event on instagram and was jealous! Looks like you all had a great time!
    Julie @ Millennial Boss recently posted…10 Tips I Learned From Buying My First HomeMy Profile

  9. Chonce says:

    Sounds like you’ve been super busy! I’m glad you found and place, and don’t forget to set a little time aside for yourself (easier said than done, I know 🙂 ) Can’t wait until the event in Chicago!
    Chonce recently posted…5 Ways to Embrace Minimalism When You Have Lots of StuffMy Profile

  10. Congrats on getting your own place, and I hope you have fun on Jason’s project. It doesn’t sound like you’ll be coming to the Phoenix one, so I guess I’ll see you at FinCon.

    As for us, we’re nearing the end of getting Tim’s dental implants dealt with. I’m excited to no longer have this $27k expense hanging over our heads.

  11. I know what you mean about buying little things! My tpo-buy list keeps getting longer, as I realize all that I actually need (hello, cleaning supplies?) because I’m technically starting from scratch, other than clothes and some small household items.

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